Physical activity has always been a huge component of living a healthy lifestyle. Walking, jogging, and running are some of the most popular methods of achieving this healthy lifestyle that we all seek, but how much does it actually help? How much do you need to run to make a difference? Is there such thing as too much fitness walking? A team of researchers in Denmark set out to find the answers to these questions.
Peter Schnohr, MD, DMSc from Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark led a study to determine the effects of jogging on mortality. The study observed 5,048 citizens of Copenhagen; 1,098 were considered healthy joggers and 3,950 were considered healthy non-joggers. Surveys were administered between 2001 and 2003. The surveys considered quantity, frequency and perceived pace of jogging. Based on the results, participants were placed into 1 of 4 groups: sedentary, light activity 2-4 hrs/wk, light activity 4+ hrs/wk or vigorous activity 2-4 hrs/wk, and vigorous activity 4+ hrs/wk.
Participants were followed up with in 2013 or at their time of death. To keep track of deaths, the team used each participants personal ID number and checked it against the Danish Central Person Register. After analyzing the data, it was determined that those who jogged less than once per week and those who jogged 2-3 times per week had the lowest Hazard risk (HR) with 0.29 and 0.32 ratings respectively. Participants who jogged over 3 times per week showed no increased or decreased HR in comparison to those who were considered sedentary. It was also found that slower paces, moderate and slow, were associated with lower HR (0.38 and 0.51).
Based on these results, in order to improve your chances of living longer, one does not have to do much. Getting outside and walking or jogging at a moderate pace once per week can make a difference, so get out and exercise!
Schnohr P, O’Keefe JH, Marott JL, Lange P, Jensen GB. Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality: The Copenhagen City Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(5):411-419. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.11.023.